Here are a couple of posts highlighting the inaugural Castaway Challenge 5K.
Disney Cruise Line 4-night Bahamian Cruise January 12-16, 2015, following Walt Disney World® Marathon January 7-11, 2015
Disney Castaway Cay 5K January 14, 2015
From Parks to Paradise, join the first-ever Disney Castaway Cay Challenge!
From RunDisney’s site, the all-new Disney Castaway Cay Challenge is an ultimate running adventure, combining one magical 5K event or longer during the 2015 Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend (January 7-11, 2015) with a Castaway Cay 5K on Disney Cruise Lines’ private tropical island in the Bahamas the following week. On Monday, when Marathon weekend is over, set sail on board the Disney Dream for a 4-night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral. You’ll sail to Disney Castaway Cay for your 5K run along sandy white beaches, past swaying palms and sparkling turquoise lagoons, with magical Disney moments to surprise you along the way. It’s a runner’s paradise in a spectacular island oasis. Best of all, as a runDisney guest on board the Disney Dream, you’ll receive VIP treatment with exciting activities, special merchandise offerings, and featured menu items. From parks to paradise…and a dream getaway on board a magical cruise! Be one of the first to earn your Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Inaugural Finisher Medal!
Here is more details on the Disney Blog.
Yesterday, runDisney added the Castaway Cay Challenge to their lineup of races scheduled to take place in February 2015 during the Princess Half Marathon weekend. Every runner who finishes the runDisney Castaway Cay Challenge will earn two medals – a Disney Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher medal and a Castaway Cay 5K Finisher medallion to accompany any medals earned for running any of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend events at Walt Disney World.
The cruise aboard the Disney Dream will feature a stop at Nassau, Castaway Cay, and a day at sea to recoup from the events of the 2015 Princess Half Marathon weekend.
To sign up for the Castaway Challenge, runners must book the February 23, 2015 Disney Dream cruise using promo code RUN, and then register for the Castaway Challenge at www.runDisney.com. The Disney Cruise Line reservation number is required in order to register for the Castaway Cay Challenge which will open to the public on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 12 PM EST.
Here is a map of my run from my Garmin back in 2013.
Castaway Cay 5K Highlights
- 3.1 mile course through Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Lines’ private island in the Bahamas
- Course runs past sparkling lagoons, the harbor, and white sandy beaches
- Surprise Disney magical moments and entertainment on-course
Castaway Cay Participants Receive:
- Castaway Cay Challenge Event T-Shirt
- Commemorative Castaway Cay 5K Finisher Medallion
- Commemorative Castaway Cay Challenge Finisher Medal for participating in one Princess Half Marathon Weekend 5K or longer events PLUS the Castaway Cay 5K
- Post-race refreshments
- Exciting Activities and access to Special Merchandise on board Disney Cruise Line
- Featured Healthy Menu Options on board Disney Cruise Line
Today it was reported on Through Heather’s Looking Glass something really cool called the “Castaway Cay 5K Challenge“. If you are (or will now be) traveling on the Disney Dream on January 12, 2015 after Marathon Weekend, you have a chance to add an extra challenge.
“After competing in the 5K, 10K, half marathon and/or full marathon during the Disney Marathon Weekend (January 7-11), runners can compete Jan. 14 in the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge, a special 5K race on Disney Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s private Bahamas island. Every runner who finishes this new runDisney Challenge event will earn two medals – an inaugural Disney Castaway Cay Challenge medal and a Castaway Cay 5K medallion, plus any medals earned for running any Disney Marathon Weekend events (5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon). ”
This sounds really awesome, as we are now almost Gold Members on Disney Cruise Line. Unfortunately, I am not running at Marathon Weekend this year so I am out, bummer! If you decide to do it, let me know. Maybe in the future I can give this a go!
On our recent visit to Walt Disney World, we tried a new restaurant, Splitsville Luxury Lanes, at Westside at Downtown Disney.
Splitsville Luxury Lanes was built earlier this year, in the old Virgin Megastore location. I imagine they call in luxury lanes, because it is far more than just a regular bowling alley. It is a combination of a restaurant, bars, sushi bar, game room, and bowling alley. There is also an outside walk-up bar if you just want to have a drink. It is a very vibrant place, lots of color, televisions, and loud music. It reminded us of some of the night clubs on the Disney Cruise Line.
As for the layout, it is two stories. On the first floor you have restaurant seating, 10 bowling lanes, a couple of bars, and the store. On the 2nd floor is more seating & bars, and another 20 lanes for bowling. It was interesting to see bowling on something other than a first floor.
For this trip, as a Disney Vacation Club member we decided to use our Tables in Wonderland card to try it for dinner, which got us 20% off the price. We made a reservation for 6:00 PM on a Friday night. However, when we arrived there was plenty of seating, and we were seated immediately.
For dinner, I chose a Angus Bacon Cheeseburger on a Pretzel Roll and my wife chose a Margarita Pizza. The meal was alright, but for the price for a table service meal at Disney, it did not compare highly to other Disney table service meals. Just this and a dessert were near $60, and that did not include any bowling.
If you desired to bowl, that was another fee on top of dinner. Also, if you chose to bowl from the beginning, there were tables at each lane, so you could eat while you bowled. Since we chose not to bowl, we were seating away for the lanes. The price for bowling, which included shoes was $20 per person per hour. So if you are a slow bowler, you don’t get much. So if you add that on to the cost of the meal, that is near $100 to eat an bowl. So we passed on the bowling.
As for Splitsville Luxury Lanes, we asked our waiter if it was a chain, or was this the only one. He said they have a few others around the country in Texas, Virginia, and a couple others in Florida. He did say the company plan to expand to other locations in the future.
Overall, it was alright. We just found it very pricey for the quality of food, since it was on Disney property. We would like to bowl sometime in the future, but probably will not eat, unless we just get some appetizers or play over dessert.
This is a continuation recap of our cruise on the Disney Dream on Sept. 22-26, 2013. Here is a link to Day 1’s recap. On Day 2, we arrived in Nassau, The Bahamas around 9 AM. Since we had been to Nassau before, we decided that we were not going to go ashore, and just stayed on board the ship all day and took in all the shipboard amenities, with less people.
I started the morning out with a 3 mile run on the deck of the ship while we were still pulling into Nassau. As we were pulling in, there was a Carnival ship already in port. It was the Fantasy out of Charleston. When in Charleston, this ship looks so big in our port; however, next to the Disney Dream, it’s quite small.
Once done, I went back to the stateroom and we got cleaned up for breakfast. Another scrumptious buffet!!! After breakfast, we walked through the lobby atrium to see that the Pumpkin Tree had blossomed over night.
We then went out on the pool deck, laid out in the sunshine, and rode the AquaDuck since a lot of the passengers were ashore in Nassau.
Here are some shots of Atlantis from our balcony.
Around 1pm, we went for some lunch, because we had not eaten in like 2 hours. The waiter there was from Jamaica and talked with us for a while about his home country, as it is a future cruise destination we are considering. He also did some works of art with the ketchup on my plate.
In continuing with the Halloween on the High Seas theme, this was costume night. This is what we had been planning for! For weeks after hearing about the Halloween theme, we started putting together costume ideas, and this was where we get to show our hard work. We decided to go as Bert & Mary Poppins. At the party, we had so many compliments on our costumes. Many wanted their picture with us, and though we were actually cast in one of Disney’s shows on board.
After the party, we went to dinner in Enchanted Gardens, where we had lunch on Day 1. Another great meal!
After dinner, we had had enough with our costumes, and went back to the room to change. To complete the evening we went to the Villains Tonight show.
We left the Bahamas about 2am. Trust me I was already counting sheep…. Next stop Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
On September 22-26, 2013, my wife and I took a 4-Night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream. This was our 2nd time on the Disney Dream, as we did a trip on it during the Inaugural Year of 2011. This time we went by ourselves, where in the past we have gone with other couples.
We drove down to Port Canaveral on Saturday, Sept. 21st. Like the past 2 years, we stayed at the Country Inn and Suites – Port Canaveral. We like to stay here, because it is close to the port, and they have a package where you can have breakfast before going to the ship, you can leave your vehicle there during the cruise, and they have a shuttle to drop you off and pick you up at the cruise terminal. From the hotel, we could see all the cruise ships in port.
On Sunday morning (9/22) we got to the Disney Cruise Line terminal around 11:45. The check-in went relatively quick, as we had done all the prior check-in arrangements online. Since we had requested to board the ship around 11:30, as soon as we checked in, we were allowed to immediately board the ship to let the fun begin.
Disney always welcomes your family to the ship in grand fashion. When you enter, they ask you last name, and then announce your entering of the ship over the speakers of the ship.
Once on board, a member of the crew welcomes you, and gives you directions on where you can go for some lunch, and the events of the day. On the past 2 Disney cruises, upon boarding, we would be directed to the large buffet, Cabanas for lunch. However, for some reason we were guided to the Enchanted Gardens dining room for a less crowded buffet. The food was awesome, but this Pumpkin Pie was the best I had had in many years (aka Grandma’s!).
After lunch, around 1:30, we were allowed to go to our staterooms. This was our first time getting a room with a balcony (#6574, on Deck 6). Let’s just say this spoiled us, and we will have to have a balcony on all the future cruises! It was awesome. So much more freedom that lower decks with just a porthole window.
We had our special gifts for being a repeat member of the Castaway Club (2 more to GOLD Status!)
It is always fun to decorate your stateroom door in Disney fashion on the cruise. Many do it, and it is fun to walk down the halls and see ideas for future cruises. Here is our stateroom door decorated.
We changed and walked around the ship. Our first stop was a Disney Vacation Club Member (DVC) Meetup. This typically means “free stuff”!
After the meetup, it was time for the life boat drill at 4:30. After this, we went back to the room for the sail away. Typically on the past cruises, we have gone up to the pool deck for the sail away party. However, on this cruise, since we had the balcony, we thought we would try it out from our room instead, with no crowds and a glass of iced tea!!! Awesome!!!!
After the sail away, it was time to get ready for dinner, since we had the main seating at 5:45pm. Our first night’s dinner rotation was in Animator’s Palate. This is a neat restaurant as it has many different screens in there, and Crush and others from Finding Nemo, rotate through the room and visit tables, interacting with guests. Since we did not go with another couple this year, we figured we would probably get paired with at least one other couple for dinner. We were a little nervous about dinner, and as to whom we would be dining with for the remainder of the week. We we arrived there were two other couples seated at the table. We seemed to hit it off really well with all of them the first night. It was difficult to hear in the restaurant, so we couldn’t carry on a great conversation, but we got to know the others. One couple had reservations at Palo (I will tell of this restaurant in Day 3’s review, as that is the night we went there). Just to spoil the later posts, but we really liked the other couples from our table. They were really awesome, and we all hung out about the ship for the remainder of the week. We later found out the one of the couples, was actually in the stateroom next to ours! We all liked each other so much, we met at Disney World on the Saturday after we got off the ship!
I almost forgot. We received word from Disney Cruise Line, that for the first time ever, that the 4-night cruise, starting with ours, until Halloween, was going to be a Halloween themed cruise, called “Halloween on the High Seas”. So there were Halloween decorations everywhere, and Halloween themed shows and events throughout the cruise.
Upon boarding the ship, we saw this unusual tree in the lobby atrium. It was a ghostly tree, that had branches but no leaves, looking really eery.
Well, after dinner, the first Halloween themed event was to gather at “The Pumpkin Tree” as we learned of it’s name and purpose. They had an older lady come out and tell the story of the pumpkin tree.
At the conclusion of the story, we were given cards with tear away pumpkin seeds on it, where we would put our names on the seed, and place them in a bucket at the foot of the tree. Strange but ok.
The next day the Pumpkin Tree began to grow pumpkins on its branches. This continued throughout the cruise, and you will see the progression of the tree in future cruise posts. It turned out to be really neat.
After this, I hit MAN HEAVEN! They were playing the Sunday Night Football game on the huge Funnel Vision screen out on the pool deck. I experienced this last year on the Disney Fantasy, and it is truly awesome, to watch NFL football at sea, on one of the biggest screens ever! We sat on the pool deck chairs and watched some of the game until it was time for our next event of the evening.
We did not go to the show on the first night, as we had seen it before on prior cruises. So we held out for another Halloween themed event with a late night showing of the “Nightmare Before Christmas” in 4-D in the Walt Disney Theater. It was called the “Nightmare Before Christmas – Sing & Scream”. That sounded interesting. I am not one for 3-D movies, but this was really neat. I had never seen the movie before, so that added to the excitement. As the movie progressed, if there was a song, the put the subtitles at the bottom to sing along. Throughout the movie, they used special effects, sounds, and lighting elements in the theater to add to the movie experience. At the conclusion of the movie, Jack Skellington & Sally came out for a meet and greet.
This concluded our first night of Halloween on the High Seas on the Disney Dream.
Tomorrow I will do a post on Day 2 when we were at Nassau, Bahamas.